Osso Buco a' l'Arman





  • 4 navel oranges, rinsed and drie
  • 2 cups water
  • About 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 5 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 veal shanks, sawed into 2- to 3-inch lengths (osso buco)
  • 4 large carrots, trimmed, peeled, and thinly sliced



Step 1: Remove the zest from the oranges with a vegetable peeler, taking care not to get any of the cottony white pith. Pour the water into a saucepan, drop in the zest, bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat so that the water just simmers and cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
Step 2: Put a Dutch oven or a very large oven-going skillet with a lid over medium heat and pour in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and herbs and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, just to soften. 
Step 3: Using scissors, reach into the can of tomatoes and snip the tomatoes into pieces. Add the fresh and canned tomatoes, liquid included, the bouillon, and 2 tablespoons of the water in which the zest cooked — hold on to the rest of the liquid; you’ll need it later. Bring the sauce to a boil, season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat, and let it simmer gently while you brown the veal.
Step 4: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Step 5: Set a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and pour in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pat the veal dry and season sparingly with pepper. Working in batches if necessary, slip the pieces into the pan and brown them lightly on both sides. (If you’re working in batches, you’ll probably have to add more oil.) 
Step 6: As each piece of meat is browned, lift it out of the skillet with a slotted spatula (let the fat drip back into the pan) and lower it into the simmering sauce.
Step 7: Pour off the fat in the skillet and pour in the remainder of the liquid in which the zest cooked — reserve the zest. Turn the heat up and cook for a minute, stirring to get up whatever little bits of meat have stuck to the pan, then pour the pan juices into the Dutch oven. Add 8 to 10 strips of the zest to the pot - you can save the rest for pilaf and gremolata; and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix everything together as best you can — you won’t be mixing as much as gently sloshing, but that’s fine. Scatter the carrots over the veal.
Step 8: Cut a circle of parchment paper or two circles of wax paper (it’s good to have a double layer) just large enough to fit inside the Dutch oven and lay the paper on top of the osso buco. Simmer for 5 minutes more, then settle the lid on the pot and slide it into the oven.
Step 9: Braise the osso buco undisturbed for 2 hours, at which point the meat should be fork-tender. Carefully lift off the pot’s lid and the parchment paper and, with a large spoon, skim as much fat from the surface of the sauce as possible before serving. You can make the dish up to 2 days ahead, chill it, and then reheat it gently on top of the stove or in a 325-degree-F oven. It can also be frozen: cool the dish (or the leftovers), pack airtight, and freeze for up to 2 months.
Step 10: For the Orange-Basil Gremolata: While you can certainly make this from fresh zest, it’s foolish not to use the zest you blanched for the sauce. Pat the zest dry and finely chop enough of it to measure about 1/4 cup. Toss the zest with 1 garlic clove, split, germ removed, and minced, 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, salt (fleur de sel would be nice), and freshly ground pepper. You can make this about an hour or so before serving time, but keep it tightly covered with plastic wrap so that it stays moist.
Step 11: For the Orange Rice Pilaf:  Set a medium saucepan over low heat and pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it’s warm, stir in 1 onion, finely chopped, and about 3 tablespoons finely chopped orange zest (if you use the zest you cooked for the osso buco’s sauce, just pat it dry). 
Step 12: Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. 
Step 13: Increase the heat to medium, add 1 cup basmati or other long-grain white rice, and stir it around until it is coated with oil, about 1 minute. Pour in 2 cups chicken broth and stir. Bring the broth to a boil, add a little more salt and pepper if you think it’s needed, and stir, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. (White basmati rice usually needs about 11 minutes, but rice varies, so check the package and, most important, the pan.) 
Step 14: Remove from the heat, let sit for 2 minutes, and then fluff the rice with a fork. If you’d like, you can stir a little chopped fresh basil into the rice.


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